Our Kids Need Self-Respect More Than Self-Esteem

Elaine Wolff (left), Bob Brown, Jack Riccardi and Carlos Abelar


Speaking just for myself, I did not see that Charlie Rose thing coming.

But when people say “why didn’t women come forward at the time?” with regards to sexual misbehavior, I’d like to point out that in some of these stories, they did.

Read the news carefully, and you’ll find in some of these Rose stories, a line such as “there had been complaints”.

Corporate culture is reactive, not pro-active. What’s happening right now, I think, is a huge, simultaneous cleaning-out of the “complaint” folders. Doesn’t mean the folders or the complaints are new. Only means “let’s get it over with!”

You won’t like me saying this, but a lot of the time, the credibility of an misconduct accuser really comes down to personality.

If the accused is unpopular, not good for him. Ditto the accuser. Likability matters—you know that, right? Your record will also have something to do with your word being taken. It is unjust, but it’s also true.

And as for the “why now?”: there’s strength in numbers. It helps to know you’re coming forward in a different, less lonely, time. Young people, and many of these accusers were/are young, don’t always know the boundaries of the workplace, or knowing them, think you have to compromise.

When you think about the popular culture, it gets some blame too. How many TV shows about hospitals, police agencies and various other workplaces, have the characters getting it on with each other all…the…time?  If I’m raised on that fare, I figure that’s how work…works.

I dare Hollywood to fix that.

Let’s spend more time raising our kids with self-respect and less on self-esteem. Self esteem is brittle. Self-respect, founded in the belief that you are a beautifully-made child of God, is more durable.



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